Why is a center needed in Franklin County?
In 2013 there were 283 total reports of alleged child abuse in Franklin County. 42 of these reports were substantiated for child abuse. The overall number of Children and Youth Services referrals represents an incidence of 8 reports per 1,000 children in Franklin County. Over The Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center (OTR-CAC) was established upon collaboration with community partners and professionals who shared a vision of a place specifically designed to address the needs of child abuse victims and their families.
Over The Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center (OTR-CAC) provides a safe, child-friendly place for children and their families to receive services that help to restore hope and provide healing from child abuse. Children’s advocacy centers minimize the trauma that can be experienced by a child during a child abuse investigation. This is done by utilizing a multidisciplinary team response to child abuse. Services are provided onsite for the child and their family. These services include a forensic interview that allows the child to tell their story while members of the investigative team watch the interview through a close circuit television. This approach helps to eliminate the number of times a child will have to tell their story. A victim advocate is present at the center to meet with the caregiver and provide support and referrals for services. The child is also offered a forensic medical exam.
The Multidisciplinary Investigative Team includes representatives from law enforcement, child protective services, medical professionals, mental health professionals and the District Attorney’s Office.
Over The Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center (OTR-CAC) is committed to providing services and support to suspected child abuse victims and their families in a compassionate , child friendly environment utilizing a multidisciplinary approach with respect to the prevention, identification, investigation and treatment of child abuse while emphasizing the child as our first priority.
Over The Rainbow supports and envisions a community where children and their families are provided with the resources necessary to lessen the trauma of abuse. It is our belief that proactively addressing these needs will lead to the future wellbeing of the child and ultimately the community.
The basic principles that guide us include:
– Recognition that above all else the child is our first priority
– Opportunity for achieving positive outcomes is multiplied when people work together towards a common goal
– Every child has the right and deserves to grow up in a world free from abuse
Members of the Multi-disciplinary Investigative Team include:
Mental Health Providers
Family Advocate / Women In Need
Franklin County Children and Youth Services
Franklin County District Attorney’s Office
Franklin County Law Enforcement
– Pennsylvania State Police
– Chambersburg Police Department
– Franklin County Sheriff’s Department
– Waynesboro Police Department
– Washington Twp Police Department
– Mercersburg Police Department
– Penn State University Police Department (Mont Alto Branch)
– Greencastle Police Department
– Shippensburg Police Department
Rebecca Voss received both her Bachelors (2003) and Masters (2016) in Social Work from Shippensburg University. She began working at OTR-CAC in 2014 as the Managing Forensic Interviewer. She has over 15 years of experience working with child sexual abuse victims and their families. Rebecca began her career working for Children and Youth services in the intake unit investigating reports of child sexual and physical abuse. She also worked at the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center, where she provided supportive and educational services to caregivers, conducted forensic interviews and facilitated prevention programs in the community and schools. She is also a trained facilitator for Darkness to Light Stewards of Children and TECH Smart for Child Safety.
Intake Coordinator/Community Educator
Jessica Crouse earned her Bachelors of Social Work from Shippensburg University. Jessica joined the Over the Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center team as an Intake Coordinator and Community Educator in October 2019. Prior to working at Over the Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center, she worked for the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center, where she conducted forensic interviews and facilitated prevention education for schools in Adams County. In the past, Jessica worked for both Franklin County Children and Youth Services and Fulton County Services for Children as a caseworker where she investigated allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. She has received extensive training regarding child abuse and interviewing techniques.
- Dustin Haluska – President
- David Rush-Vice President
- Natalie Lehman-Treasurer
- Alice Hyatt-Secretary
- April Braxton
- John Thierwechter
- April Rouzer